Curated By: Aakash Biswas
Last Updated: June 11, 2023, 19:21 IST
London, United Kingdom (UK)
India’s star-studded top-order not clicking in yet another big ICC final has once again become a major talking. On Sunday, India lost their second consecutive World Test Championship (WTC) final, this time to Australia by a huge margin of 209 runs. The opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill failed to put up a significant stand while Cheteshwar Pujara, who has had immense success in the English County Championship, succumbed to poor shot selection across innings.
Chasing a mammoth 444-run target, Shubman Gill was out for 18 runs while Rohit scored 43. Cheteshwar Pujara got 27, Kohli top-scored with 49 and Rahane was dismissed for 46. There was no coming back for India once the top-order perished and as a result, Australia became the first-ever cricket team to have all ICC trophies in their cabinet.
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After the conclusion of the game, head coach Rahul Dravid had a conversation with Star Sports where he analysed India’s defeat. Former captain Sourav Ganguly, who was part of the WTC commentary panel, asked Dravid about the significant drop in the averages of India’s top-order batters. The Indian head coach said the big guns haven’t been up to their own high standards and the management is working on it.
“We have experienced players in our top 6 – I do believe they did not play to their own high standards. These are guys who won twice in Australia, won in England as well. Then again, their performances have not been up to their own high standards. We are working on it,” Dravid said in response to Ganguly’s question on Star Sports.
“But the wickets that we have played on have been challenging as well. In this WTC cycle, every Test was important. And we have to play for the win – and keeping that in mind, if you look at it every player’s average has gone down, not just Indians players, but every other team’s as well,” he added.
Australia posted 469 in the first innings, riding on Travis Head’s magnificent 163 and Steve Smith’s gritty 121. Dravid said the bowlers didn’t bowl at the right lengths, allowing Head to dominate.
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“On the first day, I think this was not 469 wickets. In the last session on day one, we gave away 157 so that session was disappointing for us. We knew what lines we had to bowl but we went wide, and gave Travis Head a lot of room, at that stage we lagged behind a lot.
“Also, in the Second innings the shot selection from the top four was not the greatest. But then again for me, it was the First innings which was decisive, it was not 469 wickets,” Dravid said.
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